Mise En Abyme
BY SAM ROSS
If the bottle rests to my left, I am beginning.
If the bottle lies on the floor, shattered, I am still
just beginning. When I arrive at night I won’t
see the lake until morning. If I arrive
at the house in the dark, all day I’ve been thinking
how could I change into someone else. Metamorphosis
is the innards of my bag strewn across the table:
paperclips, bottle caps, receipts and receipts.
If I buy American, a flashlight lies within reach
when I enter the switched-off house—but I don’t
buy American; there is no flashlight, no gas,
no way to steep tea before I fall into bed. I sleep
until morning warms the lake, dip a toe in, swim,
shower. In the fogged mirror, if I comb my hair
to the other side everyone thinks I have changed.
This lake is big enough to hold several small islands,
each with its own lake. If I spend nights here
clasping my hands, stirring miso, scrubbing mold,
it’s because I live to watch these things delicately
merge, scatter, and reassemble.